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feelings stem forth from emotions like failure, fear, rejection, and

similar others.

Confront this situation by surrounding yourself with persistent

positive thoughts and look for sources to weed out negative

feelings. This sure makes you a happier and a much more positive


Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 51 of 104

24. Increasing Your Self-Worth

to Get Greater Happiness

High self-esteem helps to enhance mental health, life success and

happiness. A person who loves himself, his work and his home

usually feels happy. A man should have self-respect. There are two

kinds of self-esteem one is conditional and other one is

unconditional. Conditional self-esteem means that person’s self-

esteem exists on certain factors like property, wealth, intelligence,

etc. and vice versa.

A person should respect himself if he does not, then he will live with

an inferiority complex throughout his/her life. He should respect and

love himself and others without any conditions. If a person adores

himself without a condition then he would be happy to know

anything about himself. This love provides him power to overcome

fears to face the various challenges in life. In case he does not, he

will always criticize himself sometimes for no reasons. This results in his severe depression.

Self esteem is a very important part of happiness.

The level of self-esteem brings confidence. Positive and negative

thinking, pains and pleasure teach us good as well as bad things to

us. We must learn to save ourselves from negative elements. This is

nothing but love for self. Conditional self-love is confidence and

unconditional one is self-esteem. Responsibilities bring control, if a

person is responsible for his own emotions he has control over his

emotions and in turn he will be happy. You must care about your

own needs and wants. It includes your work, your skin, your body

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


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parts, your home, your accessories, etc. It increases your self-

esteem and self-worth. Your main concern should be your own

happiness. This does not mean to be selfish. Giving brings

happiness, too. But, if you give too much and you are not taking

care of yourself, you can put yourself in danger.

Life is give and take in moderation.

Every person has both positive and negative aspects of his life,

body, behavior, etc. You should also be aware of your negative

elements so, that you can improve them gradually and transform

them into your strengths.

Therefore, plan your time and possessions for taking care of your

self and your interests to enhance happiness in your life.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 53 of 104

25. How to Develop a Positive Self-Image

Self-image is an image of ourselves we have set in our illusion. It

is a deposit of sensatory sketches, viewpoint, and opinion regarding

ourselves. Perfect self-image is an aspiration of what you want to

look like. Self–image is of two kinds – one is ideal self-image and

the other one is perceived self-image. Perceived self-image is the

real image of us.

Guilt generates from the space between the two types of self-

images. Guilt of our images lowers our self-esteem. To overcome

guilt we should reduce the gap between Perfect self-image and

perceived image. We can either do this to change our perfect image

or improve our perceived image. One more way to save ourselves is

to create a false image as our perfect image. Accepting or liking

ourselves is the first step towards developing the self-esteem. We

accept ourselves means accepting other’s opinion towards us.

During learning try to know the duties of your hated portion of your

appearance and you will get to know how important it really is.

Adopt measures to keep your body and mind healthy like exercise,

yoga, and get adequate sleep. Increase your confidence through

enlarging your self-belief instead of saying this particular quality

does not suit you, your age, personality, etc. This kind of flexibility helps us to go at any area of life. This kind of attitude helps us to

face any kind of challenge. Negative thinking develops anxiety and

nervousness that stops us from proceeding in any direction. Beware

of negative emotions such as guilt, depression, and anger. They are

the main obstacles in the path of success that lowers our motivation

and confidence.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 54 of 104

Another way to develop self-esteem is to ignore negative reactions

toward us.

Practice positive thinking about yourself; use the right words to

describe yourself. Rigidity in this attitude can hurt us with the

changes in society, whereas flexibility molds the person according to

the external environment.

So, develop a good self-image and be happy.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 55 of 104

26. Learn to Accept Self and Others

In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, self-actualization is the

ultimate goal one wants to achieve. A self-actualized person has no

problem in accepting himself and others complete with their positive

and negative traits. No human being is perfect and has certain

shortcomings. People have difficulty in recognizing their

imperfections. Therefore, the first step in solving the problem is to

accept the fact that one has certain shortcomings.

Maslow introduced the concept of the higher self in a self-actualized

person. This higher self is our prime motivation and drives us

towards success and in the search for the unattainable.

Several times parents or friends use derogatory terms to address

children when they are unable to perform basic tasks or do badly at

school. Children are very sensitive and they perceive these labels

negatively as a failure of their intelligence or personality. These

children grow into adults with an inferiority complex, carrying a

burden of their childhood. In fact, the higher self changes in to one’s parents and becomes a part of our lives. We end up trying to meet

the expectations of these internalized parents, throughout our lives.

The key to accept one's self and others is by recognizing one’s true

higher self. One has to learn to acknowledge and love oneself, along

with one’s negative traits, instead of wishing them away and living

in self-denial. One must have a positive outlook in life and

remember that we are responsible for ourselves and cannot blame

others for our actions or defects. One can achieve self-acceptance

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

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by gaining control over one’s life, forgetting the past, planning for a bright future and forgiving others for their actions and harsh words.

The self-acceptance process begins with first being truthful to

oneself. Next, one has to assess one’s strengths and weaknesses

and try to overcome them by focusing on the positives. A detailed

self-analysis can help one understand the basic reason for falling

short of one’s expectations. Then one must tap one’s higher self to

resolve the needs and expectations gap.

This powerful motivator can greatly accelerate the self-acceptance

process. In this way, one can take a stepwise approach to accepting

oneself and others along with their defects, by having a positive

outlook towards life.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 57 of 104

27. How to Be More Self-Confident

To be more self-confident, it is important to understand the

meaning of self-confidence. Self-confidence is nothing but the

chance that a person can do something. Self-confidence stems from

a person’s belief in himself and his abilities.

Self-confidence develops self-esteem and helps people achieve their

goals. Negative thoughts reduce a person’s self-confidence and he

may not achieve his goals despite the fact that he has the necessary

skills and resources for the same. It is necessary to have self-

confidence to progress in life. However, one must remember that

self-confidence varies with the circumstances and the job on hand.

A person can develop his self-confidence by setting goals for his life.

Every goal achieved boosts his self–confidence. Similarly, every

failure is an opportunity to learn from mistakes and to do better in

the future.

One can develop self-confidence only if one believes in oneself. Self-

belief gives an individual the power to accomplish his goals. For a

person lacking in self-confidence there are several ways to increase

self-confidence. The first step is to have a positive self-image. This

makes a person strong against the comments and negative criticism

from others and he can take on the world. Next, one must analyze

our social skills, cognitive skills and self-management skills as they

hold the key to our success at work, and in our relationships with

others. This analysis tells us where we stand and points out areas

for improvement.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

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We can develop certain skills and learn from others to achieve

success and joy in life. Nobody is born equipped with skills;

therefore, one can acquire new skills by learning from others and by

improving their knowledge of those skills.

Another way to develop self-confidence is by setting realistic goals

and then striving to achieve them. Achievement of these goals

increases self-confidence. A positive frame of mind and positive

reinforcement help one to neutralize negative thoughts and develop

self-confidence. A practical approach for raising self-confidence is to practice visual achievement of one’s goals. This helps one to focus

on the task and think of ways to accomplish the goal. The task is

broken into manageable bits and one can plan steps to achieve


Therefore, one must have self-confidence since it holds the key to

success in their personal and professional life. When you doubt

your own abilities, take time to reflect on the things you have

learned in life. You’ll be amazed at everything you have learned.

So, have confidence that you can continue learning everyday. Keep

yourself occupied with learning something new everyday. A busy

mind makes for a happy mind.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 59 of 104

28. Using External vs. Internal

Expectations to Evaluate Yourself

Several factors like control and independence govern an

individual’s personality, relationships, and determine how successful

he is in life. There are people who are very dependent on others’

approval for their actions. This dependence leads to low self-

esteem, depression and failure in relationships, in an attempt to

meet others’ expectations. These people give more importance to

others than to their own power of reasoning. If one feels burdened

by the need to do good for others, or has to take their permission

before doing any task then these are clear signs that one is in the

web of external expectations. One has to learn to break this habit

and put themselves before others, without being selfish.

Many times people start depending on others to fulfill their

emotional or financial needs by acting weak and helpless. Others

think they are indispensable and that the home or workplace cannot

run in their absence.

Such people are forever doing things for others and putting

themselves under severe stress in the process. This happens when

one has low self-confidence and belief in one’s capabilities. The

solution to this problem lies in taking control of the situation and

thinking about oneself without harming the interest of others. An

individual’s higher self has the ability to know what is best for the

person and hence, one must listen to one’s inner voice in any

situation. This means that it is all right to seek advice and approval

from others, but the individual himself must be the decision maker.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


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The key to internal control lies in first accepting oneself with one’s

weaknesses. The next step is to believe in oneself and one’s

capacity to make sound decisions based on one’s experience and


By taking control of one’s life one minimizes the need for others in

one’s life. This is not to say that one must be a lone ranger, but that one must be independent in thought and action. This helps one to

take control over one’s life and to lead a happy and fulfilled life,

without carrying the burden of other’s expectations. Hence, the

responsibility of tapping into one’s internal control lies with the

individual himself.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 61 of 104

29. Sources of Dependency and External Control

Among individuals, some are every independent and others who

are very dependent on others for their basic needs, as well as their

personal and financial needs. In the normal scheme of things, a

person can fend for himself when left to his resources. However,

parents are extremely protective of their children and are on hand

to fulfill their every need.

This dependence becomes conditional when children grow up. They

can lead independent lives but stay with their parents since they

cannot afford the same standard of living as provided by their

parents. This situation continues until an individual believes that

he/she can be independent. An independent individual is more

responsible and competent and is internally strong.

Since man is a social animal, the sources of dependency are limited

to family, peer group and reference groups. Society imposes many

beliefs and values in individuals. Instead of accepting them at face

value, one must analyze everything and then accept it.

People have strong rooted value systems that they inherit from their

parents. These values constantly reprimand them throughout life.

One must break free of these beliefs by accepting those that are

rational and discarding those that are irrelevant; without feeling

guilty for doing so. The conflict emerges when our value systems

clash with what we actually want to do. An individual who depends

on others will feel pressurized and kill his feelings to please others.

On the other hand, a person with strong internal control will please

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


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himself first and then think of others. In fact, the key to happiness

lies in deciding one’s interest without harming others.

Surprisingly compliments can be sources of external control.

Individuals receive conditional compliments in the promise of

undertaking certain tasks. A smart internally controlled person can

recognize this manipulation and give no commitment to do the job,

while an externally dependent person will go to any extent to fulfill

his duties. Therefore, an individual must recognize the sources of

dependency and take the steps to overcome them.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 63 of 104

30. Sources of Internal Control

Society conditions us to give preference to others over self. This

leads to self-deprivation and sacrifice of one’s needs and desires for

the sake of others. A person who puts self before others is not

selfish as long as it doesn't hurt anyone. An individual who is happy

and satisfied can make others happy. This is unlike an externally

controlled person who is frustrated and burdened by the need to

meet others’ expectations. Since internal control emanates from

within oneself, one has to become more aware of one’s needs,

ambitions and desires. Recognizing these signals and paying

attention to them is the first step to achieving more internal control.

Another way to develop internal control is to look within and to be

more conscious of one’s feelings. Again, an individual can face a

conflict between satisfying self and ignoring the needs of others.

The resolution lies in listening to one’s higher self. This inner voice knows what is best for the individual and can help resolve such

moral issues. An individual with a strong inner self will never

compromise his own interest, neither will he offend others. This is a

delicate balance, but one can develop one’s judgment with

experience of several issues.

However, a person has control only over his actions and emotions.

He can regulate these activities to satisfy his needs and attain

happiness in the process. To develop internal control one must

continuously seek external approval and sanction. An individual

exercises no power over other people’s thoughts and actions. If it is

available it is good, else it is beyond one’s range of command.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 64 of 104

One can strengthen internal control by positive reinforcement and

motivation. Having knowledge about things is also helpful in raising

internal control. A good way to minimize external control is to have

a hobby that keeps one busy and focused. Those who have no

interests are more concerned about what others say and

continuously seek their opinions. Hence, one must look inward and

seek inspiration from one’s higher self to strengthen one’s internal


Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 65 of 104

31. How to Be Internally Directed

and Effective with Others

One can focus better on developing internal control if one analyzes

the reasons for dependence on external control factors. This

analysis gives an insight into one’s weaknesses and directions to

overcoming those weaknesses. People depend on others in an

attempt to avoid responsibility or shift blame. They may seek

approval or act in a helpless manner so that others make the

decisions. Individuals who are not assertive are internally weak and

this leads them to seek external control. Internal weakness stems

from a low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence. A negative

outlook towards life acts as a negative reinforcement, and one

develops an inferiority complex. Such individuals feel it is selfish to be happy without making others happy. They have a massive fear

of loneliness and rejection. Sometimes, they may put on a facade to

hide some negative aspect of their personalities.

The first step to break this negative cycle is to accept oneself and to be truthful to oneself. One must learn to put self before others in a

way that both parties are happy. One has to face facts and take

responsibility for oneself and one’s actions. This helps one to be

independent and gives immense mental strength to live on one’s

terms. If a person still lacks confidence, he has to motivate himself

about the rewards of internal control and the restrictions of external

control. A person controlled by external factors is a weakling and

loses all self-respect and independence.

A better way to strengthen one’s internal control system is to do

some introspection to get in touch with one’s inner self. One must

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


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Page 66 of 104

remember that social acceptance stems from self-acceptance.

Hence, one must love oneself before loving others. One must break

away from abnormal relationships and start fresh. It can be painful

at first, but one develops a healthy and positive attitude to life

without the burdens of a dead relationship. One must trust oneself

without entrusting one’s future in the hands of others. Ultimately, it

is important to remember that the key to internal focus and control

lies in a total break from external controlling factors.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 67 of 104

32. How to Control Other People

One can develop a strong internal control system by listening to

one’s higher self. However, there are times when there is a conflict

of interest between one’s internal control and the external control

system. The problem's resolution lies in doing what is best for self

without hurting others.

This is a tough decision and one can turn to one’s higher self to help

in these circumstances. The higher self plays an important role in an

internally controlled person. However, one can control others in a

number of ways without being rude. The first step is to acknowledge

that one is submissive and automatically does things to please

others. These feelings create stress and the person is torn between

self-interest and satisfying others’ expectations. One must then

assert oneself and gently refuse to oblige the external forces

without feeling guilty.

One can control other people by taking steps to increase one’s

internal control. This is possible by associating with positive people

with healthy lifestyles. One must think independently by keeping

away from the external source of control for a while. There is great

strength in the power of imagination. One must visualize oneself to

be assertive in different situations. This gives the person courage to

face the world and to make independent decisions. One must seek a

balance between external and internal sources of control so that all

parties involved are satisfied and happy.

One must be more observant and not fall for subtle manipulation by

external forces from our reference group. One must resolve

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 68 of 104

differences of opinion by listening to the other person and keeping

all lines of communication open. It helps to keep a cool head and to

focus on the cause of disagreement rather than arguing abusively.

One may not listen to the other person, but one must have total

respect for his feelings and thoughts.

Therefore, an intelligent individual is one who is assertive without

being rude and the path to controlling others thus lies in developing

a strong internal control system.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 69 of 104

33. How to Achieve Peak Functioning

of Your Mind and Body

In this busy world where mind and body are never at peace, it is

very important to find a way which can help in the - peak

functioning of Mind and Body.

Aristotle gave this insight around 2,000 years ago. Since then the importance of relationships between excellent performance and

happiness was understood.

While doing a task, if you feel that your mind and body are involved

in it, it is the state which helps you perform the best. It makes you

feel as if every cell of yours is involved in ones work. It helps you

physically as well as mentally.

However, if the condition is opposite, you might have the feelings of

prolonged anxiety, anger and depression.

The harmonious experiences, which help you attain peace with

optimum outcome on your side, are something which is referred to

as “peak experiences”, in the language of Maslow. Here a person feels more integrated and confident.

Harmonious functioning model can help you understand the root

causes of motivation and emotion. It provides you with several

strategies that can help you gain - peak learning, peak performance

and peak happiness.

Harmonious functioning helps the mind and body to function

actively. It assists our system, especially - the cognitive systems and conscious processes.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


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Page 70 of 104

Too much of challenge, confusion and anxiety cause us to perform

low. You do not know what to decide and feel puzzled. On the other

hand, if the challenges are less, it brings boredom and depression.

The strongest motivator however, is growth. This growth can be

attained through- knowledge. Our brain strives for better and

organized knowledge. Above all, if you are happy, everything is


We all want our lives to be free from the tensions and worries that

come to us now and then. Our internal force can help us overcome

the negative feelings. Harmonious functioning helps us attain that peace of mind rewarding us with the motivating force.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 71 of 104

34. Optimal Learning as the Basis of Happiness

To attain happiness, it is very important to understand what can

help you gain that. Several psychologists came up with their

concepts and theories, all focusing on growth as a primary motive.

Let us see how they have presented their views and beliefs -

1. First, let us have a look on the theory of Dr. George Kelly-


Dr. George Kelly wrote a book on The Psychology of Personal Constructs in 1955. He described our basic nature as trying to know the world around us and attempting to adapt to it in the best way.

Dr. Kelly said that we could form several models of a particular thing. It is our brain, which finally chooses the best out of them. He

believed that if our beliefs fail to cope with inputs--especially the

strong beliefs, we get anxious.

2. Dr. Donald Berlyne with his theory - OPTIMAL STIMULATION AS


According to the psychologists, we become unhappy when our

biological sub-system either gets over stimulated or under

stimulated. The moderate degree is the state of pleasant feelings.

Dr. Berlyne said that our brains seek to maintain an optimum level of stimulation. He believed that the desire for knowledge is the most

powerful motivational force.

3. Third comes Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi with his theory of


Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


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Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote the book The Psychology of Optimal Experience. He believed that happiness could be achieved through the control of the Flow of mind.

His theory had similarity with the theory of Dr. Kelly's. Both focused on optimum levels of matching between inputs and cognitive


4. Last but not the least, comes Dr. Stephen Grossberg with his theory of ADAPTIVE RESONANCE IN NEURAL NETWORKS


According to him, when we learn something significant, some neural

network [cognitive subsystem] resonates.

An optimal degree of matching between input and expectations

causes resonance.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 73 of 104

35. How Does Harmonious

Functioning Affect Happiness

A harmonious functioning of your body and inner self produces

positive outcomes. The immediate outcomes of such functioning are

excellent performance, understanding, learning an activity, and

immense happiness and satisfaction. Although these form the

immediate outcomes, there are many other associated results.

These associated results could evolve later. Some of them are an

increased liking for a particular work, better physical health, and a

boost to your self-confidence. You feel the joy of being able to do

something excellently and bring happiness and harmony to self and


If you develop an increased liking for any activity, you experience a

feeling of peace and tranquility while performing the activity. This

feeling of peace and tranquility elevates your level of happiness.

This elevation comes from the harmonious functioning of your

physical self and your mental self. Coordinated functioning

stimulates you and increases motivation levels.

Anything you enjoy, you do not mind repeating your performances.

Rather, your performances at every repeat display higher

proficiency levels. You enjoy, receive motivation, perform, and feel

happy and satisfied at your performance. Such performances can be

anything ranging from watching a movie, solving puzzles, reading a

book, dancing to a tune, or anything else. The activity is only a zone

to highlight your efficiency.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


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Such harmonious functioning helps you identify your likings and

disliking. You rather try to analyze and identify the reasons for your

love or dislike for an activity. If you dislike dancing to a tune, you

do not enjoy it and consequently, you do not experience any

happiness from dancing.

Sometimes developing a harmonious liking to something you have

disliked previously can kindle your love for it. You dislike an activity as you lack the motivation to perform in it. This could also be the

same the other way round. You do not perform well in an activity as

you lack the motivation for it. Hence, kindling motivation could

make you view the activity in a different light. You then create an

interest in it. Slowly, you develop a harmony in it and perform

better. This leads to increased happiness and satisfaction.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 75 of 104

36. How Does Harmonious

Functioning Affect Emotions

People who lead balanced lives have control over their emotions.

Harmonious functioning refers to a comfort region within which an

individual is happy. In case something upsets this balance, he

experiences discomfort and tries to restore the balance. Individuals

who have learned to control and regulate this balance lead happy,

harmonious lives.

The brain exercises control over our emotion. It has mechanisms to

tackle all types of extreme situations so that the balance is not

disturbed. When we are happy, there is positive energy and the

brain is very alert and hyperactive. Thus, the brain responds well to

positive stimuli. If we are unhappy, negative emotions take over

and produce annoyance, concern and monotony. An individual

achieves accord when the brain receives just enough stimuli that it

can handle and develop well enough.

The underlying system that governs emotions is satisfaction of our

values. Our values include needs for recognition, financial

independence and love from family and friends. One experiences

tension, and worries about satisfying these values when one cannot

fulfill them. One can control emotions better when one can

understand the underlying values.

All individuals comprise of many parts that make up the whole. All

these divisions have different aspirations. One is happy when one

can meet these wishes. Unhappiness results when any of these

wishes are not satisfied. A person has varying emotions depending

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


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on the circumstances at the time. One feels joy or sadness during

times of change. These emotions are pointers to the fact that

something is not right. It implies a disturbance in the values that we

hold dear. People can view these changes as a chance for greater

learning and personal enhancement.

One can perform better in life when one recognizes what are one’s

values and how they contribute to a harmonious functioning. One

must make a list of one’s values in all aspects of life, such as work

and relationships. Then one must examine if they are meeting their

expectations and values. If not, one must take the steps to fulfill

them. Doing so restores one’s harmonious balance and a person

comes back into his comfort zone. Hence, the key to a harmonious

function lies in understanding our emotions and learning to control


Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


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Page 77 of 104

37. How Mental Control Increases

Your Level of Happiness

A person is happy if he wants to be happy. An unhappy individual

can never be content. He will always hold somebody else

responsible for his misery. The onus for happiness lies with oneself

and not with any external forces. The earlier we realize this; the

easier the road to contentment. External forces are beyond our

control while we can master our own thoughts and actions that lead

to happiness.

We can focus inward which makes it easier to accept the external

forces. We cannot change external forces, but we can face them and

tackle their effect as they play some role in our lives. If an

individual has problems in his personal relationships or at the

workplace, it may seem like the end of the road and people slip into

severe depression. They key to happiness lies in recognizing the

problem and then taking positive steps to solve it. This gives a

semblance of control and one feels confident to take on the world.

One can break the cycle of external control by modifying one’s

thoughts. The first thought is that external conditions are not

necessary for personal happiness. We have total control over our

feelings. With these sets of values one can exercise mental control

and ignore the fears of external control.

Inward control gives us the strength to be positive and optimistic.

We develop a positive attitude to life and this enhances our

personality. We must break the dependence on external factors and

take control of our lives.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


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Page 78 of 104

If there are too many problems in life and they seem

insurmountable, one must practice dissociation. One must not take

it as a sign of weakness, but think with a clear head and from the

perspective of an outsider. This can give us some direction towards

resolving the problems.

One has to take charge for one’s actions and for one’s happiness, by

connecting with our inner higher self. This is possible by first

examining what is lacking in life and then developing an action plan

to overcome that situation. Thus, one observes that practicing

mental control gives one strength and control over one’s life and

leads to contentment and happiness.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 79 of 104

38. Learn to Be a Master of Your Emotions

Most people are subject to both positive and negative emotions.

They get depressed over the state of their lives, work and finances.

Similarly, they are overjoyed when prospects brighten in the same

spheres of life. However, this can create havoc in one’s life. An

individual needs to exercise control over his emotions so that he can

have a stable life.

One can master emotions in a number of ways. The first is to get rid

of the feeling of helplessness.

One must spend time in pursuing activities that one likes.

One must try to convert all negative energy and thoughts into

positive ones. This is possible if one thinks of enjoyable ways of

doing the same mundane activities.

One must first assess the nature of activities that one is performing.

Then one must convert a majority of these tasks into those that one

enjoys and discard those tasks that seem boring or a punishment.

This will make a person happy for the maximum period since he will

be in his region of comfort while performing the enjoyable tasks.

It is not always possible to avoid all boring activities. Therefore, one must think of alternatives, which give better ways of doing the

same job. One cannot wish away unpleasant thoughts and actions,

but it is possible to control certain parameters that enhance our

lives. By adopting this approach, one can make time for activities

that are more enjoyable. This helps one to develop a positive

attitude to life and improves the quality of life.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 80 of 104

Sometimes it is just not possible to make time for pleasure.

However, one can still cope with bad situations by changing one’s

mental makeup. One can think positively and create an action plan

to get out of the bad situation. Overcoming bad experiences in life

gives one the courage to tackle life’s problems positively and to take

responsibility for one’s lives.

One must view things positively since this restores harmony and

brings positive emotions to the fore. Having a positive outlook in life is therefore the best way to control one’s emotions.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 81 of 104

39. Resolve Your Inner Conflicts to

Bring Harmony and Happiness

A person comprises of many parts, based on the roles he plays in

life. He is an employee, a husband, a father and a husband, all at

the same time. He has to fulfill different expectations of these roles

simultaneously. This leads to a conflict and he ends up dissatisfied

and unhappy. This is because the conflict disturbs his comfort zone

and impairs his harmonious functioning.

The best way to resolve inner conflicts is to first realize the problem, examine it and then think of options to overcome it. This basic

understanding of the problems resolves the burden of conflict. One

must develop a positive frame of mind to tackle inner conflicts. One

must try to develop unity between inner motivations and external

activities. Every action has positive and negative consequences.

Expectation of positive outcomes helps one overlook the negativity

associated with a particular activity.

Positive expectation has a harmonious effect on the mind and the

body and this gives one the energy to carry out the task.

Many times, we have reservations or problems about particular

tasks. The best way to overcome this is to analyze the root cause

for these reservations. We must go beyond the symptoms to the

real reason for the problems. Once we identify this, we can work

better and our efficiency increases, else these problems keep

nagging us and weighing us down.

Once we overcome these internal conflicts, we can experience a

balance and return to the comfort region of our lives. Every problem

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 82 of 104

has a solution if we keep in mind that our goal in life is to be happy

and that we undertake all activities to attain joy and harmony in

life. Another potential area of conflict is what we must do versus

what we really want to do. Again, we must do that which makes us

happy without hurting others.

Therefore, the path to resolving inner conflicts lies in achieving a

balance between what brings happiness to oneself and others. Also,

between short-term and long-term goals. We can achieve harmony

and happiness if we use positive reinforcement to motivate


Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 83 of 104

40. Looking at a Problem from a

Higher Level of Understanding

All individuals have fears and problems. These problems may be

regarding work, family, finances or an illness. It is easier to get

anxious and weighed down by them. We have to cope with these

problems and move on in life. First, one must examine the

underlying reasons for a problem to understand it. Then one must

design a plan of action to overcome it.

Life is full of important incidents and events. One cannot predict all

of them, but one can prepare to face them. In times of emergency,

this preparedness helps the individual to overcome the problem or

handle it effectively. Hence having a roadmap for success is

important. One can learn from the experience of others in similar

situations, to solve problems. This gives us confidence because

people have successfully applied the method to good effect.

Next, one must look at every problem as an event, analyze the

causes for it and then think of the possible outcomes. If one wants

to learn new skills or a sport, one can emulate experts mentally, or

read self-help books to learn the same. Since the required result is

to master the skill, one takes great effort in the learning process to

be successful. Some aspects of the learning process are beyond our

control, but we can visualize the internal processes of the experts

that led to achievement of desired results.

We must assess the best methods to achieve the best results and

then practice continuously to achieve perfection. Usually our brain

does an analysis of every event by itself. When the brain does not

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 84 of 104

do this, one must conduct an analysis to find the best way to

achieve the desired result.

Finally approaching a problem from a higher perspective gives us

objectivity to find the required solution. One must try to look at the

higher issues in a problem because the brain feels pressurized to

seek the reasons for this threat to one’s higher beliefs. This higher

self gives us a better understanding of problems and acts as a

cushion in the face of adversity. It strengthens our inner control

systems and helps resolve problems that we face periodically in life.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 85 of 104

41. How to Overcome Depression

and other Negative Emotions

We put great pressure on ourselves by setting high goals for

achievement, whether in our personal or professional lives. Inability

to meet these expectations causes stress and results in depression.

We develop low self-esteem and start doubting our abilities. This

leads us to sink in to a negative cycle with a very bleak future. This

is a wrong approach to life and needs to be changed. We must not

punish ourselves for not meeting unrealistic expectations. It is

better to lower our limits and then devote all energies to fulfilling

those goals. Those who set low standards, are capable of much

more and must raise their goals higher.

Another reason for depression is the pressure of our reference

group. This comprises friends, family and co-workers. People feel a

responsibility to meet their aspirations and go to unreasonable

lengths to achieve the same. It is better to change the frame of

reference and compare one’s performance with the relevant group

since this increases our confidence when we can achieve the set


It is important to remember that we cannot control external factors,

but internal control is possible over our own thoughts and actions.

We must take steps to restore our inner harmony so that we are

always in the comfort zone of our lives. Hence, one must modify our

thoughts and actions to achieve the set ideals in life. This gives us

motivation and a confidence to tackle the task. When situations

change, one should modify the goals and the motivating factors

along with these changing circumstances.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 86 of 104

One must choose ideals that are stimulating in case one is under

motivated to make the tasks more interesting. One must change

one’s perspective and view the advantages or positive outcomes of

any event or activity. This ensures that one enjoys the work and is

happy. Therefore, the best way to overcome depression and other

negative emotions is to set practical and realistic goals in life to

ensure satisfaction and a sense of achievement in the individual.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 87 of 104

42. How to Overcome Grief,

Sadness and Apathy in Your Life

People battle a number of negative emotions like grief, apathy and

sadness in life, resulting from underachievement or a lack of

meaning in life. This leads to low self-esteem and a negative outlook

towards life in general.

The main reason for this state of mind is a lack of objectives in life.

If one leads an empty meaningless life, there is no motivation for

any actions and the person vegetates. This lacuna can be due to

factors beyond one’s control; in which case one can do little to

change the situation. So incase this lack of objectives is due to

internal factors like failure, one must set better and new objectives

to lead a better meaningful life.

Other reasons for grief and apathy are mainly a purposeless life, low

ability or very high aims that are impossible to achieve. Some

people may be bad at time management and hence feel

overwhelmed by the tasks, while some are dependent on others to

fulfill all their personal, emotional and financial needs.

However, it is possible to tackle all negative feelings and individuals can emerge stronger from such experiences. Those who lack self-confidence can read self-help books and learn techniques to be

more assertive. Those who believe in avoidance must learn to live

for themselves. They must put themselves before others, without

feeling guilty. They must set achievable goals and reasonable

expectations for themselves. When a task is broken down into

smaller parts, it seems attainable. One can solve all problems in life

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 88 of 104

by examining the reasons for their occurrence. This gives strength

and confidence to face the challenges of life.

Usually grief, apathy and sadness stems from under stimulation of

our senses. Hence, we must set higher standards for ourselves and

concentrate on the results to motivate ourselves. We can break

down each task into smaller sub tasks so that the job becomes

interesting. Next, one can seek competition from peers to make the

job interesting. To relieve monotony, one can view the job from a

different perspective that can give it a new dimension and meaning.

Therefore, the means to overcome grief, apathy and sadness in life

lies with the individual himself.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 89 of 104

43. How to Lower Your Anxiety

and Stress and Increase Confidence

Every generation has different problems, but they are facing these

problems under one sign and that is Anxiety and Stress. They are

not very big words, but they can do some big damage. These two

can cause emotional breakdown and disappointment.

To get rid of anxiety and stress you must lower your goals and

anticipation level. When you set your goal low, then it will be easy

for you to accomplish your mission. This will decrease your chances

of failing.

To avoid negative feelings that disturb your mind, make multiple

goals and practice hard to give attention to every area such as

career, relationships, family, being alone, health, finances, and

recreation. Our mind continues to hallucinate the memories of the

past until it makes similar understanding with new ones in life.

With multiple goals, you need to focus on each goal simultaneously.

You must classify your goals according to your priorities as process

goals and outcome goals. Process goals are those that we do in

response to outside world and outcome goals are those, which

brings changes in outside world because of our efforts. Anxiety

develops, when we try to fulfill those goals that are out of our


To be successful and happy you must prefer growth-oriented and

energetic aims. Stationary goals will be complete at a certain point

in time but dynamic goals need continuous actions. Dynamic goals

improve your capabilities and efforts, human body and gray matter

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

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are dynamic in nature that makes its adjustable with the changes in

surroundings. Dynamic goals bring success, growth and happiness

in life.

Slow and steady wins the race. Follow systematic desensitization.

Take one-step at one point of time. Divide your time in accordance

with your small goals to acquire that big aim of your life.

Psychologists recommend these guidelines to remove anxiety and

depression of failure from your life. Make life happy as well as

ambitious by following the above guidelines.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 91 of 104

44. Learn to Be Happy in All Situations

In situations like an interview or waiting for results one can get

anxiety. The state of uncertainty causes angst or anxiety. To

remain happy in all situations, we should always think not only

positive about the outcome, but what positive action you can take if

what you hope for doesn’t work out.

Optimism controls our emotions mentally. It very much depends on

confidence. The source of optimistic thoughts is confidence in

ourselves and in forces in the outside world. Optimism increases

with the increased control over results. An external cause for good

outcome is nature, luck, fortune, etc.

It is waste of time to find an excuse for our failure. You simply

cannot blame yourself or anyone else. It is better to utilize that

extra time to think about the cause of the problem and the remedy

of the problem.

Proper control over your thoughts brings a positive attitude towards

life. We must learn to be happy and patient in every kind of

situation. We need to learn to accept success and defeat graciously.

Sometimes when you lose, someone else wins. Hey, rejoice for the

other person and try harder next time.

To remain happy and optimistic we must trust the ultimate force

that tackles each person in the world like God, nature, and


We must work according to laws of universe.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 92 of 104

Everything that is happening has its cause. Learn from the mistakes

and move ahead.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 93 of 104

45. How to Funnel Your Energy

to Maximize Happiness

The best way to refresh your energy is to focus on your positive

points and turn away your attention from the negative points.

Various situations cause anxiety in a person that depress the person

and results in his gloom or unhappiness. For an example, the stress

of appearing for tests is common among students. Because of this

anxiety, some students fail to do well in their exams.

The best way to overcome anxiety is to throw out every negative

thought from your mind. Positive thoughts will help you keep your

eyes on your goal. If you have a proper control over your mind, you

will be able to focus on your subject matter and your performance.

While doing your work, you need to focus. Avoid negative thoughts,

pessimism or glumness. Remember, negative thoughts or

pessimism stop you from being a winner. In your free time, think

about the ways to improve your performance. Victorious people

concentrate deeply on their life goals to gain success. When you

focus on your goals, you will achieve success and eventually success

brings joy for you.

A person is wholly responsible for his unhappiness. Focus in life

helps you to overcome positively to bad situations and attain

happiness in your life.

Taking steps to learn how to control your emotions will give you

more control over life period, which in turn, will bring you more


Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 94 of 104

To attain success, a person must have full control over his or her

psyche and a strong control over his emotions.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 95 of 104

46. How to Stay in Control of

Your Life and Be Happy

If a person wants to be happy, he must give first precedence to

happiness over other things. To be happy one should know his

values and his habits. Our behavior is nothing but stimulus-

response type of communication with its environment. Habit

becomes habit because it meets with our ethics. These habits have

programs in our mind that is why it is always present in our life


To be happy we need to use the conscious part of our aptitude. Our

brain needs O-PATSM a system to make sure that our habits should

match with the values. In an O-PATSM system, one is going to

analyze his or her habits weekly, make a list and plan for a whole

week about work, objectives, and wants. Then you need to take

time from your busy schedule for yourself to engage in nature

walks, pleasure reading, aerobic dancing, calling friends, attending

social events, etc.

Life should not be all work and no play. And, life should not be all

play and no work.

There should be a proper balance between every area of life like

travel, home, profession, finances, self-development and


Some people sacrifice their present need for future benefits. This

holds motivation to do better in future. People need to balance his

or her present and future rewards. Otherwise a person cannot

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

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enjoy his or her life in present time. Looking to the future can make

the present miserable and boring.

Make a proper list of your needs according to their importance and

create dreams or small goals. Reaching small goals bring

momentary wins.

Think about your values, their relevance, importance and ways to

fulfill them through limited energy and sources. It is better to

change your needs from time to time and learn to enjoy these

needs by taking time to reevaluate your goals.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 97 of 104

47. How to Achieve Your Goals

in Life and Be Happy

Your goals in life are your aims in life. You strive to achieve your

goals for personal satisfaction. You plan them in your growing or

essentially teenage years. Goals are according to your dreams in

life. You aspire to accomplish each of them. Later, you feel immense

satisfaction on accomplishment of your goals.

It is essential to achieve your goals in life to be happy and satisfied.

Follow certain guidelines for successful accomplishment of your


It is necessary to form goals in life as otherwise you are a

rudderless boat. Nevertheless, it is wrong to attach excessive

importance to any particular goal. If for any reason, you are unable

to accomplish a particular goal, do not lose heart. Instead, look for

alternatives and find happiness at accomplishment of the new goal.

Another successful way of attaining happiness through your goals is

to have various goals. Essentially blocking all avenues and

concentrating on a single goal cannot always provide happiness and

satisfaction. Among your choice of goals, you can identify and

prioritize them so that you can keep moving forward and not moan

over non-accomplishment or inability to satisfy any particular goal.

Giving unto others is an important and useful attribute. It also

highlights your concern for others. Your goals can never be in

isolation. Hence, giving due consideration to others’ happiness and

looking after their needs and satisfaction of their goals can also

prove to be a means of making you happy.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 98 of 104

Developing confidence in your abilities to work and make your

dreams come true is an essential prerequisite for gaining happiness

through your goals. Besides, your ability to give or help others

instead of being at the receiving end boosts your inner self. You

realize that you can take care of yourself independently.

Fix steps in your goals or rather break them into smaller and

simpler achievement levels. Your final goal is the outcome of these

smaller goals on your path to achieve your main goal.

Try to keep your goals at a realistic level with sufficient clarity and keep moving forward.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 99 of 104

48. How to Manage Your Time and Create

Happiness in Your Life

Life is essentially a juggle between times to accomplish your goals.

A planned juggle provides sufficient time to work for your goals,

have time for yourself, and accomplish goals consistently. Rushing

through your work often makes you tired and unconnected to your

goals. Everything then becomes monotonous.

To maintain sufficient clarity in your goals, manage time efficiently

by identifying and prioritizing your goals. Write down a checklist and

conduct regular self-evaluation sessions. These help you grade your

progress and boost your confidence to work towards your goals


It may seem simple to set priorities but accomplishing them

accordingly should be your main target. Following guidelines could

help you in your path towards attainment of happiness by

satisfaction of your goals:

All your goals and activities need prioritization. Categorize important activities as to which of them provide you and others maximum


Some goals are long-term while some need immediate attention.

Try to create a balance between long-term and immediate goals

with self versus other’s happiness goals. Give equal importance to


Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 100 of 104

It is not humanly possible to do everything always. Enjoy your work

to increase your productiveness. Otherwise, you miss on the

essentiality of the goals, which is being happy.

Try to maintain a systematic way of organizing everything.

Haphazard working cannot bring in efficiency and consequently,

your aim suffers.

In the same vein, overdoing things is also ineffective in attaining

your goals. In your rush to do everything perfectly, you spend more

time and energy on any one work disregarding others. Alternatively,

you keep working trying out your enthusiasm and fun of working

towards your goals.

Put a clear demarcation line between goals for yourself and that of

others. You can help others in their progress towards their goals,

but forgoing yours for the sake of others is foolishness. A family

functions through the cooperative efforts of every member. A single

member juggling time to maintain and fend for all members of the

family is an irrational situation. Teach your children to help. It

teaches them self-assurance and makes them feel needed and part

of the family.

You can locate your happiness by taking free time off everything to

concentrate on your efforts and progress over past period. This self-

analysis gives you an idea of your productiveness.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 101 of 104

49. Your Checklist about How to Be Happy

It is essential to be happy to succeed and progress in life. You

choose your goals, actions, beliefs, and thoughts forming the key

contributors to your happiness. Hence, you can decide and maintain

a checklist of your happiness by following certain guidelines:

Your happiness should be the essential goal in your life as you hold

the key to your emotions and feelings. Do not hold others or their

actions responsible for causing you unhappiness. Choose your path

through the obstacles of life to land at a state of happiness for you

and others too.

Unconditional love is the essence of happiness. The feeling of loving

someone is to accept the person unconditionally without placing any

importance on presence or absence of specific characteristics. Such

love erodes all negativity and lends a positive direction to your life

by giving and attaining happiness for all.

Health, forgiveness, self-acceptance, and empathy form the pillars

of unconditional love and consequent happiness. Working towards

good health for all is a preexisting element of happiness. Strive to

take great care of your health. Loving is forgiving. Accepting others

as they are and viewing mistakes or wrongdoings as a part of

enlightenment process is a huge leap towards happiness.

Personal growth lends greater value in your quest for happiness.

You then assign more priority to various values of higher life like

simplicity, goodness, self-sufficiency, aliveness, uniqueness, justice, and similar others.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

Page 102 of 104

Never assign extreme priority or attachment to any particular goal

or any situation. Extreme attachment causes anxiety and acts in the

opposite direction of your goal to be happy.

Develop a sense of balance and respect everyone’s view. Form your

opinions, but do not overreact to other’s views and feelings. As an

individual, everyone has the right to believe and decide goals. Your

inner sense of balance can help overcome conflicting situations and

make you happy in all your activities.

Do not give in to any fears as this negative feeling stands in your

way to be happy. Maintain positive feeling and associated aura

around you to forever progress ahead in your quest for happiness in

any situation.

It is said that those that are the happiest have:

A routine. They go to bed at the same time each night and arise at

the same time each morning.

They get adequate exercise.

They are married.

They have a hobby they enjoy.

They know how to set goals in increments and meet those goals.

They have a spiritual belief system.

They get sunlight. (Sunlight is important)

They have a pet.

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How to be Happy: A Complete Guide to Rational Living

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They are satisfied with their job and feel they are a special part of

the universe.

They have learned to control their emotions.

They know how to give, and how to receive graciously.

They find time to relax and to laugh. Laughing is a great outlet and

allows you to release stress. So laugh. If you don’t have a great

sense of humor, find what does make you laugh. Have a great big

belly laugh ☺

Then try to find a reason to laugh every day.

Copyright © 2006 Joseph Miller


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Page 104 of 104

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